Officials Right On Development

Martins Ferry is too small a city to play “keeping up with the Joneses” in many aspects of municipal government. Having its own development director is one of them.

During a recent City Council meeting, Mayor Robert Krajnyak was asked if Martins Ferry has a development director or plans to hire one. No, replied the mayor.

At one time, the city had a development director. But, during a financially tough period a few years ago, the decision was made to eliminate the position to save money, Krajnyak explained.

He added that regional entities such as the Bel-O-Mar Regional Council and Ohio Mid-Eastern Governments Association provide some development assistance to the city. And, Krajnyak added, the city’s grant application writer “advises us on some things we need to do.”

Excellent. City officials were right to recognize that Martins Ferry has priorities higher than a full-time development director. It is to be doubted anyone in such a position could find enough to keep himself productively busy.

Saving the money that otherwise would have gone to a development director has allowed municipal officials to address other pressing needs, including public safety.

In the final analysis, doing all they can to make local government efficient at low cost to taxpayers may be the most effective economic development tool available.